First Sunday of Advent
Click here for a printable version of the story.
Click here for a printable Spanish version of the story.
- Online video clip, “Sainthood”
- Pictures of Saint Nicholas
- Because online videos often take a few minutes to download, play the related video before the story begins to ensure that it will be ready when needed.
- Prepare any necessary materials.
- Invite children up to steps of altar.
- Reader of story sits in a chair with children sitting on floor in front of her.
- Include children’s story, even if there are no children in your congregation, to welcome families who may come to the service.
- You can add your own creativity to the stories. You may feel comfortable using puppets, props or presenting them just as they are written.
- Feel free to adjust the content to fit your time frame. However, for the spiritual development of the child, we encourage keeping as much of the Ascended Master’s Teachings as possible.
Introduction to Advent Season:
Good morning and welcome. Our story today is about Saint Nicholas.
Before we hear the story of Saint Nicholas, I want to tell you about the next four weeks in our Church that are very special and holy to all of us. These next four weeks before Christmas is called the Advent Season and we celebrate Advent on each of the four Sundays.
Advent means “the coming”. This is the time that we prepare ourselves for the coming of Christ, to receive and celebrate the birth of the Christ into our hearts. The first Sunday we celebrate hope, the hope of the Christ coming into our hearts and for people in the world to understand the meaning of the true Christ.
We prepare to receive and we give the generosity of the Christ, the kindness of the Christ and the love of the Christ in every thing we do, think, and say. The Ascended Masters teach that each of the four weeks before Christmas is a time we can prepare each of our four lower bodies.
Who can name one of our four lower bodies? (Allow children to answer.) Our four lower bodies are the etheric body, which we also call the memory body, the mental body, the emotional body, and the physical body.
Today is the first Sunday of Advent. All this week we will prepare our etheric body to be very clean and pure by giving violet flame decrees, by being very kind and generous to others, and forgiving ourselves and our friends, our parents, and anyone who needs our forgiveness.
Story of Saint Nicholas: The Gift Giving Saint
Saint Nicholas is a saint that many people from around the world acknowledge during this Advent season. He loved the Christ in all whom he met.
This is a German picture of Saint Nicholas known as Father Christmas shown wearing a crown. (Show picture.)
In Russia he known as a gift giver, miracle worker, and is the patron saint (patron meaning protector) from foreign invaders and patron saint of children. (Show picture.)
In the Netherlands Saint Nicholas is often shown with a staff and bag of toys in his hands. (Show picture.)
In the Netherlands they celebrate his birthday on his Feast Day, December 6. It is said that a loud knock on the front door heralds the arrival of Sinterklaas. Sometimes he’s shown on a horse because that’s what he rode after getting off the barge that came from Spain. When the door is opened, candy may be thrown from upstairs and gifts will be on the doorstep.
And how do we refer to Saint Nicholas in this country? (Allow children to answer.) Yes, we call him Santa Claus and believe that he comes to our homes on Christmas Eve, leaving presents under our Christmas trees.
We know that the spirit of Santa is true because Lanello told us. He said, “The one known as the Spirit of Christmas is therefore come to tell of the birth of Jesus Christ…. The Spirit of Christmas is a being of great, great light and Buddhic attainment…. Thus, Santa Claus is the great attention-getter of all elemental life each Christmas, coming therefore with that elfin wink and that twinkle of mirth to gather bouquets of attention from the children as they thereby channel the love of their hearts for the blessing of these servants of fire, air, water, and earth.”
Saint Nicholas was a real person and embodied this spirit of Christmas.
Who was the man Saint Nicholas? As a young boy Nicholas loved to study and learn, most especially the scriptures from the Bible. Do you think he was born a saint?
Let’s watch a short clip of our Mother of the Flame sharing how we too can become a saint. In the video she says that the church is no longer teaching about becoming a saint. She is not referring to our church but to any of the churches that do not give this teaching about becoming a saint. (Play video clip.)
Can we become saints too? What do we have to do? (Allow children to answer.) Become one with Jesus and our holy Christ self. Is this our mission in life? Yes.
So let’s hear how St. Nicholas became one with Jesus the Christ and the Christ in his own heart and earned his ascension, just as our Beloved Jesus did. Nicholas’s parents were very wealthy and yet their wealth did not tarnish Nicholas’s character of generosity, kindness, and love. You could say he was like a St. Francis whose prayer we often give to remind us of the true nature of the Christ in our hearts.
Nicholas’s parents died when he was a young boy, leaving him very wealthy. He used the inheritance left to him by his parents to help others, but he liked to give in secret. It is said that at times he would sneak out of the house at night to perform his deeds of generosity.
One of the most well known stories that is told of the generosity of St. Nicholas is that he threw bags of gold through an open window in the house of a poor man who needed dowries for his daughters. Otherwise they would have been sold into slavery.
The gold that St. Nicholas threw through the open window is said to have landed in the family’s shoes, which were drying near the fire. This is why children today leave their shoes out by the door, or hang their stockings by the fireplace in the hopes of receiving a gift on the eve of his feast day, which is December 6.
Can you think of some ways you can give in secret? (Allow children to answer.) What about when you go to bed and say a prayer for someone and you don’t tell them that you prayed for them?
Saint Nicholas also performed many miracles. This is a story of one of his miracles from the book, St. Nicholas the Worker of Miracles.
Grains of Justice
Introduction: When Nicholas was alive, he was a bishop in the church. Bishop Nicholas was admired for his strong stands for justice and his unshakable belief in Jesus. When the emperor of the Roman Empire was Diocletian, around the year 303, all Christians were in danger of being imprisoned because of their religion. Nicholas was jailed for five years. After his release, he continued to live and fight for what he believed.
“My good man,” said the tall man dressed in bishop’s finery. “I ask only a hundred measures from each ship!” (A measure of wheat is about enough for one loaf of bread.)
“I’d like to help you, Bishop,” the captain replied. “I really would. But I dare not. “You see, our ships carry wheat that was carefully measured before we left Alexandria. We must take this, the entire load, to the emperor’s granaries.”
“There has been a great famine here in the town of Myra. People are hungry,” the bishop responded. “Yet you will deliver all this grain to a place where food is abundant?”
“I’m very sorry to hear of your misfortune, but the grain is not mine to give,” the captain said.
“Winter comes soon,” the bishop went on, “and people will starve. Is this justice, that some suffer while others feast?”
“I wish I could help you,” the captain said, almost wistfully.
“I ask only a hundred measures from each ship,” the bishop repeated. “Do as I say. Through God’s power, you will not find the wheat short at your journey’s end.”
The captain gazed at the bishop. This was a crazy idea, of course, but there was something about this man that made the captain believe him, made him trust when there was no sense to it. (What do you think that was?) (Allow children to answer.) Yes, he was probably tuning into the Christ self of Saint Nicholas.
“All right.” Then turning to his crew, the captain shouted. “One hundred measures is to be taken from each ship!”
The grain was unloaded, the ships once again began their journey. But something much greater had begun.
When the ships arrived at their destination and were weighed, nothing was found amiss. The hundred measures in each ship had been refilled, just as Nicholas had promised. The captain and sailors began praising the God they now knew through Nicholas. Everywhere they traveled, they told others of the dignified bishop of Myra who taught them of God’s tremendous power.
In Myra, the bishop divided the grain among the many hungry people. The small portions miraculously lasted two full years, feeding all who needed the grain, but the miracles didn’t stop there. There was also enough left over for planting. Memories of the bishop’s miracles were told to children and grandchildren and the stories of Nicholas had begun to spread.
Let’s remember to find ways to give gifts in secret during this Advent season. Can you do this?
Thank you for participating in our children’s story and have a wonderful day.